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96                       THE FATE OF MAN

German paganism. The idea of German imperial-
ism, the consciousness of a great German mission
and the sense of German pride, runs through all
German thought of the nineteenth century. Most
of German philosophy and science is imbued with
it. Fichte was the herald of the militant idea of a
German mission in the world. But since he was
also a humanist and a devoted admirer of the
French Revolution, he considered the Germans
first of all as men and saw in German culture the
foremost if not the exclusive bearer of humanity.
Fichte was also an anti-Semite and refused to
accord to Jews the ordinary rights of man.
This appears clearly in his article on the
French Revolution, written, to be sure, in his
revolutionary period.

The philosophy of Hegel provided the real
basis for the idea of the special mission of the
German people. Hegel saw in the Prussian state
the incarnation of the world-spirit. This same
emotional expression of German Nationalism may
be found in most of the romanticists. Hitler, for
instance, finds his inspiration in Wagner. The
whole of Wagner's work is an expression of
militant and aggressive German messianism. He
was a true anti-Semite and racialist: one of
the founders of the racialist anti-Semite ideology.
Nietzsche stands quite apart from this. In some
respects he serves as inspiration for German